The medal was established by Public Law 322, 77th Congress on 21 November 1941, and announced in War Department Bulletin 34, dated 10 December 1941, and War Department Circular 176 dated 6 June 1942.
The medal was designed by Mr. T. A. Rovelstad, Heraldic Division, Office of the Quartermaster General, in June 1942, and was approved by the Secretary of War on 8 July 1942.
The obverse of the medal includes the dates of the U.S. Occupation of Germany. The reverse depicts the eagle standing on the Castle of Ehrenbreitstein, which overlooks the Rhine in Coblenz, Germany. The three stars on the reverse symbolize the Third Army, which comprised the occupation forces of Germany.